Editorial: Stars and spurs dollars and coconuts

Transparent as water

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A sand dollar to Melissa Meeker, the new executive director of the South Florida Water Management District, who promised members of the Big Cypress Basin Board there will be more government transparency in matters involving water projects.

“I’ve heard you loud and clear and I’m going to work on it,” she promised the board.

That should mean easier-to-understand details on how tax dollars are spent.

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Clean beach, view

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A huge starfish to the volunteers from the Naples Area Board of Realtors (NABOR) who spent July 5 picking up after the July 4 celebration at the Naples Pier.

The NABOR volunteers walked the beach with plastic trash bags gathering litter left behind by those who viewed the Independence Day fireworks display.

“We do this because the pier is such an iconic image for us as Realtors,” said Lawrence Middleton, who helped organize the cleanup.

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Checks and no checks

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Eleven sandspurs to the 11 businesses who failed to pass a Collier County Sheriff’s Office alcohol-sales test on the Fourth of July.

Clerks at those businesses failed to properly check IDs of buyers who were not yet 21.

The good news is that 81 businesses tested that day did pass and properly refused alcohol sales.

Youth Relations Bureau Commander Beth Jones said the results are a strong indication that the sheriff’s efforts to curb underage alcohol sales are working.

During a similar operation in October, 44 local businesses were visited and 14 were cited selling alcohol to a minor.

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Protect children first

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A sandspur to the Florida High School Athletic Association for the way it defended the lack of a tracking system for student deaths that are sports related, especially deaths involving sickle cell anemia.

“We have 244,000 FHSAA student athletes, tracking everyone would be very costly,” an FHSAA spokesperson told a Naples Daily News reporter.

“Should we track lightning strikes, a player dying from a heart murmur?”

The answer is yes.

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Talk of immigration

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A starfish to the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce and the Salvatori Wood & Buckel law firm for encouraging the community leaders to talk about immigration reform. The first step to resolving problems and disagreements is to talk.

The chamber and law firm have organized a July 25 roundtable discussion on the topic as part of a national call to discuss needed changes in immigration policy.

The Daily News will participate and file reports.

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Alerts for motorists

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A sand dollar to the Florida Department of Transportation for its free, downloadable iPhone and iPad application that gives up-to-the-minute traffic information.

It’s an extension of the state highway department’s 511 telephone system.

“If you’re on the road, have a passenger check 511 or pull off the road to call 511 or check the 511 app,” said Sgt. Kim Montes of the Florida Highway Patrol.

Besides travel information and road conditions, the system gives updates during emergencies such as hurricanes and wildfires.

© 2011 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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